If anyone had told me that I’d be here right now, I’d have said “Don’t be silly!” and then promptly glazed over and enjoyed the daydream – me owning my own art studio, hosting notable artists, offering sold-out workshops, enjoying a growing client base with many repeat customers, in a cosy not-so-little space with wonderful neighbours, surrounded by a really supportive group that help me keep things chugging along; it’s a total dream.
Except, it’s not.
If starting a bonafide studio in April 2013 wasn’t amazing enough, by July 2013 The Old School Studio was no longer a 2-woman show. It was suddenly, scarily, excitingly, fabulously… all mine! Now this little space wasn’t just a hobby, it was a business and I was a businesswoman. What?! But I’ve been retired for four years!
I officially became a sole trader in August 2013; about the same time that several local artists started approaching me to run workshops at the Studio, and customers started requesting specific workshops. Things were getting so busy, I had a new problem – how to balance supporting others with their art and still find time to create my own. Now, after 45 years of working full-time for others, I’m working full-time again but this time I’m my own boss, doing something I love.
That said, here’s The Old School Studio’s 2013 in a nutshell.
April 2013 - We’re Open! Pics of how it all began including the pre-wood-stove renovation days and featuring this Yorkshire lass in scruffy paint overalls. Then, when the hard graft was all over we held the Grand Opening Weekend swiftly followed by our first-ever OSS Drop-In!
May 2013 - Still finding my feet at the Studio but I’m off to Cober Hill to run a painting holiday for 14 people for a week. Back at the studio, the 1st official OSS workshop is also fully booked! One 2-day Collage/Mixed Media experience coming right up! The results were just fabulous, and the cherry on top? The OSS website was finally live!
July 2013 – Helen and I part company, still more pastel workshops, and Cambridge Open Studios EVERY WEEKEND! Some might say madness, I’d call it organised chaos.
August 2013 – I officially became a sole trader but no time to celebrate… 15 people attended my 1st Painting-out Day at The Tickell Arms. Terrific gardens, tasty 2-course meal, the weather was great, and the painting was ace! The heavens certainly smiled on us… and the 4 (yes, I said 4!) workshops at the OSS this month.
September 2013 – I was off to Vienna for a much needed rest while my wonderfully supportive friends and fellow artists Joan, Alan and Stacey kept the Studio open. Prue van der Hoorn hosted our first Silk Painting workshop which was well attended, yielded stunning results, and received rave reviews I might add!
October 2013 – The OSS is now home to two giant commissions for Wetherspoon’s soon-to-be-opened pub at The Manor House in Royston. The commission deadline is tight so Stacey (who’s working on a 3.5m mural) and I (working on a super-sized abstract mixed media) are burning the midnight oil, and the studio’s wood supply, as we turn night into day. All while the OSS hosts 3 more workshops and the weekly drop-in. Busy!
November 2013 – 4 workshops in November including the long-awaited and swiftly booked Life Drawing Workshop with Rachel Haynes (pics here); and Lesley Rumble‘s Handmade Cards for Christmas, her 4th OSS workshop (see the finished cards here). Then to top it all off, I hosted a Christmas Craft Fair… and we’re not done yet!
December 2013 – Finally, things started winding down for the holidays, but not before we squeezed out one more workshop, a Christmas Wreath Workshop with Helen Allen. It was truly a creative and merry event.
So what’s the plan for 2014? Let a girl catch her breath first, cause 2014 promises to be even busier!
This entry was posted on Sunday, January 5th, 2014 at 9:56 pm and is filed under Review, The Old School Studio. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.